WHAT IS A CHANGE-MAKER?
‘Change-maker: A person who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen. Ashoka.org
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead, 1978.
I have spent three years travelling around the world meeting and interviewing 200 change-makers for Generation Share, an extraordinary book that tells the awe-inspiring stories of the remarkable people who are saving and transforming lives by building the Sharing Economy.
I set out to discover and bring to public attention the stories of the people behind the 21st Century phenomenon that is changing the way we think, live and do business. But over the course of three years, I’ve learned that there are characteristics that set these trailblazers apart. I’ve discovered that despite hailing from diverse backgrounds, genders, religions, communities, geographies and classes, some are social entrepreneurs, community leaders, innovators, teachers, business people or simply individuals striving to make change, that there are 6 character traits that define the anatomy of a change-maker. These are:
SHARE: change-makers are sharers; they are collaborative, team players who see abundance and understand that by sharing access and resources, everyone benefits.
BRAVE: change-makers reinvent the rules; they do things differently and are prepared to travel upstream.
ADAPTABLE: change-makers understand that to lead change, they need to be willing to change and adapt, that true innovation happens through learning what works and what doesn’t, adapting and iterating accordingly.
LOVE: change-makers put love at the heart of everything they do; they consider their impact, embed love for people and planet in their lives and in their work. They lead change with love and care.
POSITIVE: change-makers are inherently positive; they see challenges as opportunities to make a difference and recognise that change requires a solution-focused approach.
FUTURE: change-makers are future-conscious, they see the bigger picture, take a systemic approach, always consider the long-run.
These traits can also be applied to businesses and organisations, what I call 'change-maker brands'. I work with people, businesses and organisations to enable them to apply and adopt these all-important change-maker traits in order to create economic, social and environmental value for themselves, their organisations, companies, society and the planet at large.